I often find myself immersed in the hustle and bustle of life, focused more on doing than pausing to appreciate. I’m working on this and encourage you to do the same.
Gratitude isn’t just a nice sentiment; it’s a catalyst for happiness, better health, and increased resilience. It also strengthens our relationships, whether at work or at home. My wife, Jamie., has spent years researching gratitude in the workplace, revealing an essential connection between employee engagement and their boss’s gratitude.
As we gather with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s remember that this holiday goes beyond delicious food and cherished traditions. It’s a chance to reflect on our lives, relationships, faith, work, and the countless blessings we’ve received.
Here are seven quick things I’m grateful for this year, with the hope they’ll inspire you:
- Celebrating 32 years of marriage with my confidant and the love of my life. Jamie and I embarked on a journey over three decades ago. Like any trek, it’s had its valleys and summits, but I’m grateful for the entire adventure and for her as my hiking partner. I’m better because of her.
- Becoming a grandfather to a beautiful baby girl. Watching her discover the world is fantastic, and seeing her doing so in a home filled with love, faith, and support is a gift I wish for every child.
- Serving as the Best Man for my son, Clay. Standing beside him and his now wife, Jess, as they pledged their love before God, family, and friends at their wedding.
- Dealing with the loss of Jamie’s mom (Marilyn) and my father’s twin sister (Joan) in recent weeks. I’m grateful for the memories, the lessons they taught me, and the belief that we’ll reunite someday. Yes, we can be thankful in dark times. That’s a challenging but profound lesson I’ve learned over the years.
- Reflecting on my early May attempt to climb Mt. Rainier. I didn’t reach the summit as the weather and conditions got the best of me. Despite the disappointment of the descent that day, I value the lessons learned, the people I met along the way, and the ability to tackle challenges like climbing mountains. Yes, we can be grateful for disappointments as they teach us lessons we don’t learn from victories.
- Leading the Positive Disruptor Research Team at Vanderbilt University and working with students in the classroom. In a world filled with negativity and division, I have the unique chance to study, teach, and write about what it means to be a positive force, to push back on the status quo, and to deliver exceptional results.
- Bringing what we study and develop to the world. I’m grateful to work with my Leddin Group colleagues, a network of certified guides, and exceptional clients and partners to inspire and challenge leaders globally. Together, we’re crafting a movement that redefines leadership development with inspiring content, a proven system, and transformative results. While my name appears on the letterhead, our team effort propels us forward.
To help you on your gratitude journey, let me share three daily commitments I have made to myself.
Will I deliver every time?
But I’m getting better, and I’m grateful for that.
- Pray each morning, expressing gratitude for three things in my life.
- Look for and act on opportunities to thank people, highlighting what they did and why I appreciate it.
- Engage in active listening during conversations with colleagues, clients, or family members, and express appreciation by pinpointing at least one specific positive aspect of their contributions or actions.
Gratitude isn’t just a feeling—it’s a force for positive change in our lives and the world. Embrace it.
I wish you warmth, love, and the embrace of cherished blessings.
With gratitude, Patrick
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.